Ice Breaker Games: Taking Control of the Awkwardness

There are few things more anxiety-provoking for me than being in a new group and having to do ice breakers. It’s always, like, introduce yourself and give an interesting fact about yourself.

In these moments, my mind goes blank; it stops working entirely. I normally spit out: Hi, I’m Colleen and there is nothing interesting about me. I wish I was kidding. 

So next week, at a company-wide staff training, I asked to be in charge of ice breakers.

Wait, what?

No, see, my plan is to do ice breakers the way I want to do them. Rather than having grown humans go around the room and say meaningless facts about themselves, I’ve sent out a survey of sorts, asking a variety of funny “ice breaker” type questions.

Then, I’m going to make it into a presentation and people will have to guess who said it. Fun(ish), right?

It will really keep the awkwardness to a minimum, and that’s something I can absolutely get behind.

For extra points, I asked people to send me baby/childhood pictures so we can play “guess who.” I have a perfect picture. It’s one my mom gave to Cory as a gag-gift. I think she was half joking, half saying: I hope your kids aren’t as ugly as your future wife once was. 

Screen shot 2013-10-15 at 8.00.27 PM

Joke’s on her, because I use it in my favor. I display this bad boy in our home, and I tell guests, for only ten cents a day, we help feed this poor homeless boy. Saint status.


  1. says

    Ice breakers are the worst in my opinion. We do them before EVERY f2f meeting, and it kills me. I mean, how many random things can I come up with about myself before I start flat out lying?! Honestly, I love your idea…and I’m sure you’re colleagues will be relieved as well!

  2. says

    you crack me up!!! love it. for my college graduation, my mom lined up all my old school photos. it was both atrocious and perfect.

    the ice-breaker games sound like a great idea– good thinking!

  3. says

    That picture is fantastic. I have some doozies from my pre-teen years as well.

    Ice breakers are tough. I had to do one where we watched a video about how much the people who work in a fish market love their jobs. Then we stood in a circle and threw a stuffed animal fish to someone while telling them something we liked about them. Painful!

  4. says

    Hahaha, I love that picture of you! I hate ice breakers, too. I generally go “Hi my name is Lindsay and I’ve never broken a bone.” In undergrad,. so many people said something along those lines that we weren’t allowed to say it anymore.

    I’m not THAT boring, but put me in front of group of people I don’t know and my mind goes completely blank as well. I love your idea for an ice breaker!

  5. says

    Urgh ice breakers are just korny! Good luck with the games! I’m sure it’ll be a success! And what’s wrong with you? You were a cutie as a kid!

  6. Meg says

    I was put in charge of ice breakers for a work event and just asked everyone to say the most delicious food or drink they had all summer. I figured you gotta eat, right? It ended up being pretty funny because by the end people wanted to say one of each, and some people even said more than one. Success!

    • Colleen says

      That’s a good one!! One of my questions was “what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?” and I’ve gotten crazy responses! Bear! Ostrich! Caramelized python?!

  7. Sophie @ life's philosophie says

    Love this idea! We are in the same boat. I loathe ice breakers. I just took part in one in Vegas for a work conference where we spent 4 hours writing a song for a tourism campaign. Then we had to sing it a million times and then record it in a studio with video cameras. All with complete strangers. Umm… not the best for a non-singing introvert like me. It was a pretty painful 4 hours.

  8. says

    And by little orphan boy you mean completely gorgeous little girl, right?! You’re flippin’ adorable. Icebreakers are the worst, mainly because I becoming increasingly more socially awkward as the years progress. Don’t talk to me by the time I’m 40.

  9. says

    I’m the opposite. I mean, I hate icebreaker “introductions”, too. BUT I tend to overshare and make everyone uncomfortable. It’s fun times for all.

    “Hi, my name’s Presley and I’m already picturing all of you naked. You look great, by the way.” Whoops.

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